Pathogenomics of Culex quinquefasciatus and meta-analysis of infection responses to diverse pathogens

The mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus poses a substantial threat to human and veterinary health as a primary vector of West Nile virus (WNV), the filarial worm Wuchereria bancrofti, and an avian malaria parasite. Comparative phylogenomics revealed an expanded canonical C. quinquefasciatus immune gene repertoire compared with those of Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae. Transcriptomic analysis of C. quinquefasciatus genes responsive to WNV, W. bancrofti, and non-native bacteria facilitated an unprecedented meta-analysis of 25 vector-pathogen interactions involving arboviruses, filarial worms, bacteria, and malaria parasites, revealing common and distinct responses to these pathogen types in three mosquito genera. Our findings provide support for the hypothesis that mosquito-borne pathogens have evolved to evade innate immune responses in three vector mosquito species of major medical importance.